Single and Mirror Wills
Ensure that your hard-earned wealth is distributed on your death in accordance with your wishes.
Whatever the future may hold, it is important to ensure that children and/or other chosen beneficiaries will inherit the wealth you have worked so hard to create. But without professional guidance, much of your money might end up in the wrong hands or be lost completely!
If you die intestate (without having made a Will) the State decides what happens to your wealth. This may well leave your loved ones in a costly, uncertain and stressful position at the worst possible time.
Planning the ultimate distribution of your estate, protecting your assets by making a Will and when relevant, setting up a trust are some of the most important things that you will ever do. By preserving your wealth and putting your affairs in order you will make a significant difference for those people who matter to you the most.
There are many threats to personal wealth and the family home. Complicated or broken family relationships can create the biggest challenge; dealing now with the ultimate difficulties could only make the outcome worse. By addressing them now we put ourselves in control of how our wealth is ultimately distributed and give ourselves the peace of mind which comes with knowing that we have done our best for those we care for most.
Guardianship for Children
Making a Will is the only way to nominate Guardians for your children if you should die before they reach the age of 18 – otherwise the Courts would have the final say. If you are an unmarried father you will not automatically become the Guardian of your natural children on the death of their mother, so you will either need to be named as their Guardian in their mother’s Will, or apply for Parental Responsibility at a local County Court.
Will for Life Scheme
Future updates and changes
Our estate planning services are arranged for you for a fixed price and therefore no further costs other than OPG* and LR** fees are involved. If however at a later date you wish to amend your Will or any other document this is arranged for a small charge to issue the documentation. Any further cost involved will always be confirmed before we commence work. Our usual cost to re-draft and print your Will is from only £25.
This cost may also apply if you damage, mislay or wish to amend any of your documents once they have been engrossed and issued to you.
* fee to register Lasting Power of Attorney
* fee to register Settlement
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Lasting Power of Attorney
In the past there was only one type of Attorney document available – an Enduring Power of Attorney and this covered everything that was needed. It did not need to be registered until the donor lacked capacity.
This was changed in May 2008 when the new Lasting Power of Attorney became available. This was split into two types of attorney document – covering Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare. This has since been revised further with the implementation of new forms and rules in July 2015.
About these two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
The first allows you to choose people to act on your behalf (as attorneys) and make decisions about your Property and Financial Affairs, before or only after you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
The second document allows you to choose people to act on your behalf (attorneys) and make decisions about your Health and Personal Welfare when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. This can include decisions about your healthcare and medical treatment, decisions about where to live and day-to-day decisions about your personal welfare such as diet, dress or daily routine.
We take great care in the completion of the forms required and ensure that all the sections have been completed, signed and witnessed correctly in readiness for registration when required. We will be pleased to take you through the process of setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney and registering it with the Office of the Public Guardian
If you are establishing a Lasting Power of Attorney for business purposes, or feel that you may require use of this document at a moment’s notice we recommend, avoiding any potential for business interruption, that registration should take place IMMEDIATELY, with the documents being securely stored by us until required. The Office of the Public Guardian take many weeks to complete registration.
If you choose more than one Attorney you must decide whether your Attorneys should act together or together and independently (i.e. they can all act together but they can also act separately if they wish). This is the default option that we normally recommend as it ensures that the power continues to be valid even in the event of the death or incapacity of one of the nominated attorneys.
You may appoint your Attorneys together in respect of some matters and together and independently in respect of others.
Advance Directive or Living Wills
No one has a crystal ball to see when unfortunate accidents or illnesses will befall them.
If you should go into hospital for an operation, prior to being taken down to the theatre you are always advised of your rights if something should go wrong.
Often a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ clause is agreed, as patients are concerned about the effects of being ‘kept alive’ might have on their family, especially if it meant the estate was frozen, because they were in a continued state of ‘Limbo’.
The most famous example of this is the 1988 Hillsborough Football Disaster which lead to the ‘Right to Die’ principle in 1993, established in British Law by the Tony Bland case. A brain damaged survivor of the Hillsborough disaster, Mr Bland had been in a vegative state since the tragedy at Sheffield Wednesdays grounds over 4 years earlier. In a landmark judgement it was ruled that doctors could allow a patient to die where it was held to be in the person’s best interests.
However in the 10 years that followed, fewer than 40 people had been granted that right.
In each case only the President of the High Court Family Division (at that time Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss) or a High Court Judge sanctioned by her – can give that permission.
Some years ago questions were raised about the European Human Rights Legislation which gives everybody the ‘Right to Life’. But back in October 2000, Dame Butler-Sloss presiding over the case of two woman granted the ‘Right to Die’, ruled that the legislation did not affect the Bland Judgement.
The whole issue has proved controversial in recent years, with the High Court sometimes making a stand against euthanasia.
Diane Petty, a Motor-Neurone disease sufferer who lived in Luton, went to court to seek the ‘Right to die with Dignity’ but was repeatedly turned down.
She eventually died in May 2002, aged 43 years.
All this trauma can have a devastating effect on one’s family and loved ones, who are unable to ensure that their ‘nearest and dearest’ can pass with dignity, enabling the rest of the family to get on with their lives.
Whilst the person remains in this state of limbo – and often cases such as the above are left in a vegative state or coma for several years – the estate is often frozen and cannot be passed onto to dependant relatives i.e. spouse or children. If however, the person has made ‘A WRITTEN STATEMENT’ in advance, outlining their intentions after discussion with their family the situation is clearer for all.
THESE “ADVANCE INSTRUCTIONS” ARE KNOWN AS A ‘LIVING WILL’ OR ‘ADVANCE DIRECTIVE’
Once the document has been completed, (we have 4 to choose from) signed and witnessed, it can then direct that:
In the event that they suffer from one or more of the conditions mentioned in the schedule, and if they have become unable to participate effectively in decisions about their medical care, and
That one or two independent doctors are of the opinion that they are unlikely to recover from the illness or impairment without involving ‘severe distress or incapacity for rational existenc, then IN THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES , they ask that they not be subjected to any medical intervention or treatment aimed at prolonging or sustaining life.
It is also usual to request that a close relative or friend be contacted first to enable them, and other relatives to be with you before being allowed to ‘die in peace.
Once this document is authorised by you, we recommend it be passed to the family doctor who will often take a copy for their records, returning the original for safekeeping.
This form of ‘Living Will’ is becoming very popular and can be arranged for the total inclusive cost of up to £35.00 for a single directive, or £55.00 for a double directive. Discounts may be given if this is arranged at the same time as other Estate Planning instructions.
Do your assets exceed £325,000?
Historically, relatively few estates attracted Inheritance Tax (IHT) but this has changed radically in recent years because of soaring house prices, particularly in London and the South East. According to recent estimates, this sharp increase in property values and the slower rise in the “Nil Rate” (tax exempt) Band has left around 1.8 million homeowners now vulnerable to IHT.
When you die, your heirs pay 40% IHT on everything you leave above £325,00 (in the current tax year). Married couples (and Civil Partners) can certainly avoid exposure to IHT on first death by taking advantage of the fact that there is no tax on assets that pass between spouses or civil Partners. However this only delays, not avoids, a tax bill. The New Residential Nil Rate Band, that applies to those with property in excess of the Nil Rate Band can now also increase your personal allowance up to a maximum of £500,000 per person. (Phased in from 2016 to 2020)
Are you Married?
If you are currently married or getting married very soon, don’t assume that everything will automatically pass to your new spouse at death. If you haven’t made a Will, the Law may decide how your possessions will be distributed, sometimes at the expense of your intended beneficiaries.
If you have children, the surviving spouse would only get the first £250,000 outright and a life interest in half the remainder, with the children getting the rest at age 18. If you don’t have children, the surviving spouse would get more but not necessarily everything, depending upon the size of your estate.
Are You Unmarried or Divorced?
Perhaps you have been living for some years with your partner but have never married, or maybe you are currently divorced. You may even have children. If you die without a Will, nothing will automatically pass to your partner. They will only be able to claim a share of your estate if you were living together throughout the two years immediately prior to your death.
Safeguarding Your Home
Preserving the value of the family home from hostile creditors is important. If you should need Long Term Residential or Nursing Care, and your assets exceed £23,500, the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 allows for your home to be used by the local authority to meet the costs associated with providing that care.
By changing the way in which you own your home, the possibility of a future creditor being able to make a successful claim against this valuable asset can be greatly reduced.
How Can We Help?
Good Will & Estate planning often makes all the difference between achieving security or suffering financial hardship, yet such advice can often be seen as complex and difficult to follow. Working with existing advisers as appropriate, we will provide you with clear , commonsense guidance that will help you understand your options.
Our fees are clear and agreed at the outset, and if you are in business or self employed, can be treated as a deductible business expense.
Probate & Trusts
When your Executors ‘need to perform their duties’ they will need to apply for Probate.
When the time comes to act we are there to help them, and work closely with the executors to ensure that the wishes and instructions contained in your Will are adhered to.
This can be as simple as offering guidance, assistance in the completion of the relevant forms, to taking over and dealing with all the financial matters required.
If we are only need to pass on initial help and attend the executors meeting then there is no charge, however should the executors require professional help with the administration of the estate then the will can express the wish that CJH Consultancy Services Ltd or such other company or firm who shall have succeeded them or appointed by them be engaged in the administration of your estate and that they shall be entitled to be paid for such work calculated in accordance with our usual terms and conditions.
We are also able to offer this service to clients whose Will we did not produce and are happy to meet with the family to help and assist at that sad time. Occasionally we receive a request for help from a family where a family member died intestate, and again we are equipped to be able to help and assist with the probate application and unfree any accounts that are frozen and enable the estate to pass to those intended.
Officers In Administration
Where we are arranging your Will we agree to act as ‘Officers in Administration’ so that we can help and advise your chosen officers of their duties. If the executors you have chosen are unwilling or unable to act for you then we can act as executors on their behalf. The cost of acting as Officers is given usually without further charge as it has been included within the initial cost of you Will but if instructed to act by the Executors our fees will be discussed and agreed before proceeding. Our fees are based on a fixed fee not an hourly rate.
An executor of a will must usually obtain an official document from the High Court to show that he has the legal authority to deal with the property described in the will. H3
This document is called a Grant of Probate. A valid will operates from the moment the testator dies, so an executor has full authority from the moment of a person’s death. The granting of probate merely confirms and makes official the powers the executor has had since death.
Guidance Notes following Bereavement
Bereavement is a very traumatic time, often made worse by the variety of unfamiliar matters requiring the immediate attention of the next of kin. The aim of these Guidance Notes is to explain the main considerations to be faced, how to cope with them and where possible the order in which they must be addressed, alleviating at least some of the inevitable distress.
Probate – Guide to Probate for Executors of Wills
An executor of a Will must usually obtain an official document from the High Court to show that he or she has the legal authority to deal with the assets described in the Will.
This document is called a Grant of Probate. A valid Will operates from the moment the testator dies, so an executor has full authority from the moment of the person’s death. The granting of probate merely confirms and makes official the powers the executor has had since death. It has been over four years since we formed the new Probate and Trust department to offer additional services for all trust work and probate submissions when required.
Whether this is advising your executors in the performance of their duties or taking over the complete probate process acting as Executors or Attorneys we can help you. Be it assessing the value of your assets to collecting the monies due and the distribution to the final beneficiaries we can arrange all of this for a relative low fixed cost.
Our Trust department can help with various types of trusts including Property Protection Trusts, Disability Trusts, and Deeds of Gift.
Trusts are becoming more popular, to ensure that the best Tax advantages are being utilised.
We can include a Flexible Life Interest Trust within your Will, which although has certain comparisons with the Nil Rate Band Trust, it has a discretionary trust built in to ensure that the surviving spouse has access to the estate without having to bow to the discretion of trustees.
There are many other trusts available and it is always advisable to discuss this in more detail with one of our experienced consultants who can appraise you of the position and how best to meet your individual and personal needs. Trusts can be used to cover residential homes and second and subsequent properties with great ways to reduce your exposure to IHT.
We should all be aware of the threats to our wealth and too often creditors catch out those of us who have not planned for the expected knocks of life let alone the unexpected ones which can happen at any age. One example is preparing for the possibility of going into long term care. One in two women, one in three men may require some form of long term care and thousands of homes are sold each year to pay for it.
A lack of planning and taking appropriate action now can force house sales to pay for care costs.
By being aware of the pitfalls you can start the process of estate planning and mitigating the potential costs, for example reducing the impact of Inheritance Tax.
Inheritance Tax has to be paid on all assets at the time of death (your estate) above a certain level set by the Government. Up to that level is known as the Nil Rate Band (NRB) and you are not taxed on it, above it you are taxed at 40% on all you own – your home, possessions, savings and investments both in the United Kingdom and overseas. All your worldwide assets could be subject to UK Inheritance Tax.
The good news is that if you plan ahead, use your annual allowances and personal reliefs and have an appropriate Will and trusts, you can significantly reduce your Inheritance Tax liability and exposure to other third party threats. This does not mean losing control nor necessarily giving assets away during your life, although sometimes that’s a useful way of reducing exposure to tax.
We will advise you about the options available and help you find the right solution to achieve what you want for those you leave behind.
Deed of Trust
This acts in a similar way to a Deed of Gift, but is used where it is not possible to transfer the asset at this time, perhaps because there is a mortgage on it in sole name that prevents the transfer taking place, then a Deed of Trust is arranged that confirms that the ‘Deed ‘ is agreed but that it will take place at a later date but prior to death.
Nil Rate Band
Inheritance Tax (IHT) and the Nil Rate Band
Historically, relatively few Estates attracted IHT but this has all changed radically in recent years because of soaring house prices, particularly in London and the South East. According to recent estimates, this sharp increase in property values and the slower rise in the “Nil Rate” (tax-exempt) Band has left around 1.8 million homeowners vulnerable to IHT.
When you die, your heirs pay 40% IHT on everything you leave above £325,000 (in the current tax year but this will change due to the new Property Allowance that will grant couples up to £1,000,000 relief, and this will be in place from April 2016 and in full by April 2020).
Couples can certainly avoid exposure to IHT on first death by taking advantage of the fact that there is no tax on assets that pass between spouses or Civil Partners. However, this only delays not avoids, a tax bill. A far better option is to consider leaving your Nil Rate Band to your children (or other beneficiaries) in order not to waste that exemption on your death. This is accomplished by means of special wording within your Will which can also ensure that the surviving spouse or partner can access the funds placed in trust. We can also include a ‘Flexible Life Interest Trust’ instead if this is more suitable for your personal circumstances and is more commonly used when the couple are married so that there is a Married Persons combined allowance to claim in the future..
Your partner will then have a further exemption on their death, putting you in the same position as a ‘married couple’ thereby doubling the tax-free allowance available to set against any IHT bill at second death.
An example of when the Nil rate band or FLIT would be used:
Mr and Mrs Smith had total assets, including their house, of £650,000. Both had been married before.
Their Wills, written many years ago, left everything to each other and in the event neither one surviving the other to their two children, in this case one from each of their first marriages. Many couples have Wills like this especially where one or both have children from a previous marriage or partnership.
Mr. Smith died three years ago and everything passed to his wife. However, when Mrs Smith died recently and left the entire £650,000 Estate to her daughter, it came as a shock to Mr Smith’s son that he had been left out of her Will.
In this particular example, with better planning by Mr&Mrs Smith so that having new, tax-efficient Wills incorporating Nil Rate Band Trusts(If they were not married) or Flexible Life Interest Trusts (FLITS) if they were, the beneficiaries chosen by each would then have received their chosen inheritance on second death.
If they had, there would still have been no Inheritance Tax payable when Mr. Smith died, because of the Inter-Spouse Exemption. However, assets up to the value of the prevailing ‘Nil Rate Band’ or an equal share of the house would have been placed into trust by way of a flexible loan note, or “IOU”. Mrs Smith would have been the main beneficiary of this Trust. She would have had unrestricted use of the trust assets during her lifetime and could even have sold the family home and downsized or bought another one if required.
When Mrs Smith died, the original ‘debt’ would have been repaid to the Trust and the size of the Estate reduced accordingly. The tax bill would then have been calculated by deducting Mrs Smith’s Nil Rate Band allowance from the balance and Inheritance Tax would only have been payable if her net value still exceeded this sum. Mr Smith’s share would then pass to his son and her share to her issue. Arranging their Wills like this would have ensured that the estate passed to the beneficiaries intended and this could also be to siblings or other nominated individuals or charities.
A similar situation would occur if both parties have children together from their current relationship – and after first death one were to marry later, it is possible that those children could still be disinherited.
Whilst in principle, the ‘Combined Married Persons Allowance’ – if still available in the future – would achieve much the same result and even, in some circumstances, an even greater tax saving, assuming the tax exempt rate is raised again as promised, its terms are far less flexible and discourage, for example, prior lifetime gifts.
The current NRB is £325,000 each, now increased by a further 'Residential Nil Rate Band' of £175,000 per person, so can be increased to £1,000,000 ‘per family’ in respect of all property held under their estate, but subject to certain conditions regarding descendants and blood lines etc., and only applies if the 'property' is a residential one now or you have held one in the past and have now downsized etc., Please refer to our office for further details.
An additional advantage of the Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust (or Flexible Life Interest Trust strategy if a married couple) is that it provides a framework to ensure that any intended beneficiaries will receive their due inheritance, irrespective of subsequent changes in circumstances and legislation. In any event, if it is clear, at second death, that the individual circumstances of the case mean that it would be more tax efficient to set aside the NRB Trust, or the FLIT then the Executors are empowered to do so. If this is required then we can apply the appropriate change provided that is applied within two years of death.
Flexible Life Interest Trust
Most couples, whether married, in a civil partnership or co-habiting often have very simple Wills. These simple Wills often provide for the entire estate to pass to each other on the first death and on the second death to pass to children or other persons. If only if life was so simple!
Our clients want to protect their assets which they have worked hard to accumulate over the years and ensure that they reach their intended beneficiaries. Their concerns may be that the survivor might remarry, so that assets do not pass to their children or may relate to Inheritance Tax or future care costs.
A Flexible Life Interest Will may offer the protection you require.
What is a Flexible Life Interest Will?
A Flexible Life Interest Will, is a Will which provides that when the first person of a couple dies, their assets pass into a trust rather than outright to the survivor. The Trustees (who manage any assets held in the trust) hold the assets to pay the income generated by the trust to the survivor for the rest of their life. The survivor has what is called ‘a Life Interest’. This could include the right for the survivor to occupy any property in the estate. Normally the Life Interest will continue until the survivor dies. However with a Flexible Life interest, the Trustees have the power to rearrange the capital and income during the lifetime of the survivor.
How will the Trustees know how to exercise their powers?
We will prepare a letter of wishes, setting out your views as to how you want the Trustees to exercise their powers. This normally provides for your spouse/partner to live comfortably for the rest of their life and then for monies to pass to your intended beneficiaries on their death.
What happens to the Trust Funds if my spouse/partner remarries or cohabits with someone else?
As your existing spouse/partner is only entitled to the income from the Trust, the underlying capital remains safe for your intended beneficiaries. The right to income could also be removed by the Trustees if they thought that this was appropriate. The Flexible Life Interest Will therefore allows you both to provide for your current spouse/partner and also to have the reassurance that your beneficiaries will ultimately benefit from your estate provided that the trustees are in agreement and so for obvious reasons it is not advisable to make your spouse/partner the sole trustee of this type of trust. The new spouse or partner will have no claim against the trust fund.
What happens to the Trust Funds on the death of my spouse/partner?
The funds can remain in Trust or pass directly to your intended beneficiaries. The Trustees, following your letter of wishes, would normally consult with your intended beneficiaries to see what they want. There may be very good reasons for keeping the Trust going, depending on the beneficiaries circumstances at that time.
Flexible Life Interest Wills, can also help to save Inheritance Tax if you are married or in a civil partnership. There is no IHT to pay when the first person dies and their IHT allowance will pass over fully to the survivor. If there is then a rearrangement of capital and the survivor lives for seven years after the rearrangement, this will essentially be free of IHT and the survivor will still have a double allowance available.
Protection of assets from care fees
A Flexible Life Interest Will can offer protection if the survivor of you had to receive residential care. The assets in the trust would not be taken into account when assessing your surviving spouse or partner’s ability to pay for care so that your intended beneficiaries receive the trust capital you had left them intact.
An added benefit of a FLIT Will is its flexibility. For example, the surviving spouse can move house, downsize etc. The terms of the Trust will still apply to the new house. They cannot sell or spend the trust funds but the trust can be transferred to another house.
A FLIT Will can also be beneficial for young couples, couples with a significant age difference and couples who have children from a previous relationship. Should one partner die, there is a possibility that the surviving partner may re-marry or co-habit and have more children. If so, how can the original partner ensure that his/her children will inherit his/her share of the property? The answer is to make a Flexible Life Interest Trust Will, leaving his/her share of the house to his/her children either absolutely or in a Trust via the Will. The children will then be certain to inherit their parent’s legacy on the death of the first or second partner.
It is possible also to give your spouse / partner a lifetime interest in the house which ends if your partner remarries or co-habits with another partner.
These can be used to cover your main principle property as well as additional properties that you may own.
With all our Trusts, where registration is required we take great care in ensuring that all the relevant Land Registry forms are completed and submitted correctly. If conveyancing is required at the same time due to transfer of ownership then we work closely with a qualified conveyancer to arrange this.
In the past it was believed that it is the date of intent that determines the date a trust is established not the date the last trustee signs. You should always ensure that the trust is signed as soon as is possible to avoid any doubts in your intentions. Once a document has been signed it is the last signature that effects the date of the trust and registration at Land Registry can subsequently take place.
A trust is set up to protect your assets and is basically a ‘wrapper’ which can shelter your assets from inheritance tax liability and local authorities but extreme care must be taken to ensure a trust is arranged for the ‘right reasons’.
Reasons to set up an Asset Protection Trust
There are many benefits from setting up a Family Asset Trust or Asset Protection Plan which can also help illustrate that the trust was not set up for deliberate deprivation purposes:
Inheritance tax mitigation
Because your assets are held within a trust, they do not form part of your estate when you die and may not be included in IHT calculations dependent upon individual circumstances and how the trust is set up.
Avoid claims on your estate
With an asset protection trust you are able to exclude someone from your estate, such as a relative or an estranged child and they are unable to make a claim on a trust, unlike a will. This also avoids any court costs and lengthy court proceedings.
Disinheritance can be a big problem for some families but with an asset protection trust you can effectively ‘ring fence’ your assets and ensure that only your nominated beneficiaries will receive their inheritance. This avoids any in-law children from benefiting should any of your children marry and then divorce.
Avoid expensive probate fees & delays
By having your estate protected and held within a trust, you can avoid any lengthy delays due to probate. This will also help avoid potential costly legal fees and your chosen beneficiaries can be paid out quite quickly. However the forms are more complex and specialist advice should be taken at the time and allowance should be made that this could effect the cost for your executors to arrange Probate on your estate.
Protect your assets from bankruptcy
An APP can also help if you are self employed or run your own business. By holding your personal assets within a trust, you can protect them should you suffer financial difficulties or become bankrupt.
Financially protect yourself from divorce
Divorce can be a very costly experience but by placing your assets into an asset protection trust prior to cohabiting with a new partner, you can protect them and ensure they are safe should the relationship fail. This is also ideal for a widow/widower should they wish to ensure the protection of their estate for their children.
Avoid Selling your home to pay for care home fees
Should you need to go into a care home later on in life then the local authority may demand that your house and other assets are used to help pay for the care.
This would involve the liquidation of your savings by the local authority and them taking charge of your home which could result in there being nothing left for your family when you are gone.
When you place your assets in a trust you are no longer (technically) the owner of the assets but rather the owner of the trust which means that the government / local authority would struggle to force the sale of your assets to pay for care.
An asset protection trust must be set up whilst you are in good health and financially solvent to help avoid any potential challenge by the local authority.
The local authority may challenge the trust and claim that you have put your assets into the protection trust as an act of deliberate deprivation if they feel you have set up the trust to purposely avoid care home fees. However, if the trust is set up whilst you are in good health and you have no reason to expect you would need to go into a care home environment then it is extremely difficult for the government to prove this.
Having to think about your funeral arrangements can be an uncomfortable thing to do, but thoughtful pre-planning can secure not only your own peace of mind but also the comfort and reassurance that your family will be spared the extra burden at such an emotional and distressing time.
Talk to us and we can organise this all for you as work with companies that have over 25 years experiencing planning funerals both here in the UK and overseas. We’ll show you how the costs will be covered so you and your relatives won’t need to worry , allowing you the freedom to enjoy your life.
Why Plan Ahead?
You’ll understand how complicated arranging a funeral can be if you’ve ever had to organise one. There are some delicate matters to consider and difficult decisions to make. These are things that you won’t want to leave for your family to deal with, so let us help you to decide now.
Another advantage of a pre-paid funeral plan over a traditional insurance policy or savings account is that the chosen funeral director are guaranteed to be covered in full and all disbursements are guaranteed to increase in line with the Retail Price index (RPI).
If you’re not sure that the traditional approach is right for you then you don’t need to worry. We can help you create your own tailor made day so your family and friends remember you as you want to be remembered. These Funeral plans are designed to be nation wide no mater where you live. Plans can be purchased in full or the cost spread over several years if there is not the budget to pay ‘up front.
Business Succession Planning
If you’re setting up a new venture we can help here too – forming your new Company and providing all the other paperwork you need to run a strong and legitimate business.
Share Option Agreement
To enable Business property relief to be obtained we have to ensure that the correct ‘agreements’ are in place if you are a shareholder of a Limited Company. See our section under Business Health Check and Limited Companies for further information, or contact our head office for further information.
Company Formation and Secretarial Services
A full Company Secretarial service is also available, if required. We work in conjunction with your accountant or our own to ensure that this is arranged for you together with the associated advice needed in starting a new company
If you are involved in a business in any shape or form you should consider the correct business Power of Attorney. This will enable selected people and advisers to take care of your business in the event that you are unable to do so. This can be incorporated into your own Lasting Power of Attorney or a separate Business power of attorney can be established ensuring that you have appointed the appropriate people to assist you.
Business Health Check
There are a number of services we provide within the Business Healthcheck, some or even all of which will be relevant to you, depending on the current status of your business.
Deeds of Gift
Often to enable assets to be passed between individuals a Deed of Gifts is made to confirm and agree the transfer. This is a simple process and often includes the relevant Land Registry application forms confirming that this gift has taken place. If a property or asset is owned in ‘sole name’ and it is the intention to transfer this into ‘joint names’ or Tenants in Common, then a Deed of Gift is used to confirm that this transfer has taken place. This can also be used where the tenancy of a property is not as equal shares.
Successful business people are often too busy to reflect on the wealth they are accumulating and on the tax implications of it. This is all the more true of business owners who find little time to evaluate the suitability of their original business agreements (if they exist) and structure and the tax implications flowing from them.
By failing to address these issues they increase their estate’s exposure to an unnecessary tax take and reduce the wealth they are able to pass on to their spouse, partner or children. The more successful they become so their exposure to out of date agreements, structures and mindset increases.
If you are in that position and are not sure about your current situation nor confident in the suitability of earlier professional advice you received please ask us. Our specialist tax advisers will be delighted to work with you to achieve the optimum solution for your changed circumstances and for what you wish to achieve in the longer term.
The larger and more complicated your estate, the more important it becomes to receive specialist advice to preserve your assets. We and our partnered specialist advisers will be happy to help you.